Coco Ngambali and Theo Nzonza first formed a band fifteen years ago, inspired by their love of Congolese rumba and its pantheon. That band, Staff Benda Bilili, hit the big time: two major albums, a world tour and starring roles in the acclaimed film ‘Benda Bilili’. Inevitably, the big time hit right back, and the band collapsed under the weight of its own success. But in the shanty-villages of Kinshasa, bands are recycled along with everything else. Coco and Theo gathered up the necessary parts of a band from the younger generation and started belting out a shambles under the name Mbongwana Star – ‘mbongwana’ meaning ‘change’.

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